Saturday, August 19, 2006

Be Near Me...Tum Mere Paas Raho

This verse in Alfred Tennyson's 'In Memoriam' is uncannily similar to Faiz's 'Paas Raho'.

Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack’d with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a Fury slinging flame.

Be near me when my faith is dry,
And men the flies of latter spring,
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing
And weave their petty cells and die.

Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal
Faiz seems to have transcreated the verse in Paas Raho:
tum mere paas raho
mere qaatil, mere dildaar, mere paas raho
jis gha.Dii raat chale
aasamaano.n kaa lahuu pii kar siyah raat chale
marham-e-mushk liye nashtar-e-almaas chale
bain karatii hu_ii, ha.Nsatii hu_ii, gaatii nikale
dard kii kaasanii paazeb bajaatii nikale
jis gha.Dii siino.n me.n Duubate huye dil
aastiino.nme.n nihaa.N haatho.n kii rah takane nikale
aas liye

aur bachcho.n ke bilakhane kii tarah qul-qul-e-may
bahr-e-naasudagii machale to manaaye na mane
jab ko_ii baat banaaye na bane
jab na ko_ii baat chale
jis gha.Dii raat chale
jis gha.Dii maatamii, sun-saan, siyah raat chale
paas raho
mere qaatil, mere dildaar, mere paas raho
An English translation of the above nazm by Agha Shahid Ali:

Be Near Me

You who demolish me, you whom I love,
be near me. Remain near me when evening,
drunk on the blood of skies,
becomes night, in the other
a sword sheathed in the diamond of stars.

Be near me when night laments or sings,
or when it begins to dance,
its stell-blue anklets ringing with grief.

Be here when longings, long submerged
in the heart’s waters, resurface
and everyone begins to look:
Where is the assasin? In whose sleeve
is hidden the redeeming knife?

And when wine, as it is poured, is the sobbing
of children whom nothing will console–
when nothing holds,
when nothing is:
at that dark hour when night mourns,
be near me, my destroyer, my lover me,
be near me.

English translation by Agha Shahid Ali from The Rebel’s Silhouette.

Via Streetphotos

A related post on Sahir's nazm 'Khoobsoot Mod' and the 17th century English poet Michael Drayton's The Parting

Technorati Tags: , ,

2 comments:

OB van said...

This is very interesting, the sheer eclecticism of his poetry does surprise me sometimes. although to be honest I feel the urdu version does have just another level of depth, a more poignant darkness to it(but perhaps only because I am so partial to Faiz's poetry). It really made me shudder the first time I read it..

bhupinder singh said...

I too felt that Faiz's is more poignant, and also that the poets of Faiz's generation were so well conversant with English poetry and transcreated effectively from there.